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Burn Pit Claims for Servicemembers and Their Families

Toxic Military Burn PitFor years, the United States military has used burn pits as a cost-effective way to dispose of all types of waste on foreign military bases. At the time, it may have seemed like a practical solution; however, in subsequent years, it has become clear that burning waste in close proximity to soldiers, civilian contractors and their families put them at great risk because the burn pits often emitted harmful chemicals. More recently, studies have shown that those who served or lived in areas near these burn pits are at an increased risk of developing certain serious medical conditions, such as cancer, asthma, and lung disease.

For years, the government only provided limited benefits to those who suffered injuries related to burn pit exposure. However, with the recent passage of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, this is no longer the case. For the first time, veterans and their loved ones who experienced health issues related to burn pit exposure can pursue meaningful compensation from the federal government.

What Are Burn Pits?

Burn pits are exactly what they sound like: holes in the ground that were routinely used by the United States military to dispose of garbage and environmental waste. The primary purpose of burning debris was to reduce the need to store waste, decrease the risk of contamination, and eliminate the need to transport waste to a disposal site.

What Types of Waste Were Burned in U.S. Military Burn Pits?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States military used burn pits to dispose of many different types of waste, including:

Paint and other chemicals;

medical and human waste;

Metal and aluminum cans;

Munitions and unexploded ordnance;

Petroleum and lubricant products;

Plastics, rubber, wood, and food waste.

How Does the PACT Act Help Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits?

The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics ACT is a comprehensive new law that enacted important changes to how the VA handles burn pit claims. For example, the Act expands eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures. It also adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits. This means that the VA will assume you are eligible for benefits if you suffer from any of the following conditions and were exposed to burn pits during your service:

  • Adenocarcinoma of the trachea
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung
  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service
  • Brain cancer
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Glioblastoma
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Head cancer of any type
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Large cell carcinoma of the lung
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type
  • Lymphoma of any type
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
  • Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung
  • Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea
  • Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung

Who Is Eligible to Bring a Burn Pit Claim?

To bring a claim under the new PACT Act, you must either be an active duty service member, veteran, or the surviving loved one of a veteran who was exposed to a burn pit. The U.S. government has determined that those who served in any of the following areas on or after September 11, 2001 were exposed to burn pits:

  • Afghanistan
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

Additionally, if you or your loved one served in any of the following areas after August 2, 1990, you may also qualify:

  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Anyone who suffers or suffered from a presumptive condition and meets the service requirements is eligible for benefits.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Burn Pit Lawyer to Take the First Step Towards Filing Your Claim

If you were exposed to burn pits during your service in the U.S. military, or you have a loved one who was exposed, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the PACT Act. When you’re ready, the next step to learning more about your options is to reach out to a dedicated burn pit attorney to discuss your claim. While the thought of bringing a burn pit claim may seem overwhelming, the experienced lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. make the process as easy on you as possible. Once you bring us on board to help with your claim, we will handle gathering the necessary documentation to establish your eligibility. To learn more, contact Console & Associates, P.C. at 866-778-5500 today. You can also reach out to us through our online contact form.